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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  January 27, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EST

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pat sajack admits to hosting "wheel of fortune" on occasion plastered. the question is, was vanna hammered, too? it's "way too early" for this. good morning, i'm willie geist and this is "way too early," the show that loves sajack even a little more this morning. i'm glad you're up, watching on msnbc or listening live on sirius xm radio. send me an e-mail at or text awake to 622639. yes, it's friday, and there's a lot going on. newt gingrich tried his tactic of attacking the debate moderator. this time he was turned away by a bearded wolf. a protracted discussion about whether or not the united states
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ought to have a moon colony as soon as possible. that clip later in the show. first, let's get to the news, live at 5:30 a.m. here at 30 rock in new york city. we have new nbc/"wall street journal" polls just ahead of last night's debate that helped frame the conversation, four days ahead of voting in florida. the candidate with the most support in the primary fight is not the same one that voters think has the best shot in the general election. here's what i mean. according to the nbc/"wall street journal" poll, newt gingrich leads the republican presidential field with 37% support nationwide. mitt romney 9 points behind in this national poll. followed by rick santorum at 18% and ron paul at 12. when it comes to a potential matchup against president obama. republican voters think mitt romney is the strongest candidate. he trails the president in our poll by 6 points. rick santorum is seen as the next strongest candidate ahead of newt gingrich. the former speaker loses to president obama in a head-to-head race by 18 points
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in this nbc/"wall street journal" poll. november, though, of course, still a long way off. first the candidates have to get through florida where last night's debate in jacksonville turned into a one-on-one brawl between the two front-runners at the center of the stage. candidates gingrich and romney sparred over immigration policy first and the harsh anti-romney attack ad that newt gingrich has pulled off the air in florida after republicans, including republican marco rubio, criticized it as unfair to romney. >> the position i took which he attacked ferociously is that grandmothers and grandfathers aren't going to be successfully deported. we as a nation are not going to walk into some family and by the way, they'll end up in a church which will declare them a sanctuary. we're not going to walk in there and grab a grandmother out and kick them out. i think you have to be realistic in your ig dig nati-- indignati. i want to control the border.
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i want english to be the official language of government. >> mr. speaker, i'm not anti-immigrant. my father was born in mexico. my wife's father was born in wales. don't use a term like that. that is repulsive. to say enforcing the u.s. law to protect our borders, to welcome people here legally, to expand legal immigration as i approve, that that's somehow anti-immigrant is simply the kind of over the top rhetoric that's characterized american politics too long. and i'm glad that marco rubio called you out on it. i'm glad you withdrew it, i think you should apologize it and i think you should recognize having differences on issues -- >> i'll give you an opportunity to self-describe. you tell me what language you would use to describe somebody who thinks that deporting a grandmother or a grandfather
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from their family, just tell me the language. i'm perfectly happy for you to explain what language you'd use. >> i'm not going to find grandmothers and take them out of your homes and deport them. those are yr words, not my words. to use that rhetoric suggests to people somehow if you're not willing to keep people here that you violated the law that you're anti-immigrant. nothing could be further from the truth. our problem is not 11 million grandmothers. our problem is -- [ applause ] our problem is 11 million people getting jobs that many americans, legal immigrants would like to have. >> romney went on to say he's not anti-immigration. he's anti-illegal immigration. the fight continued over the housing crisis with romney and gingrich arguing over which of them had the closer relationship with freddie mac. >> well, i think you know that fannie mae and freddie mac were a big part of why we have the housing crisis in the nation that we have. we've had this discussion
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before. speaker gingrich was hired by freddie mac to promote them, to influence other people throughout washington, encouraging them to -- not to dismantle these two entities. i think that was an enormous mistake. we should have had a whistle-blower and not a horn tooter. he should have stood up, saying this is a disaster, a crisis. he should have been telling the american people that these entities were creating a housing bubble that would have caused a collapse. >> he's been attacking me inaccurately and he knows it. the contract released from freddie mac said i would do no lobbying, none. we began digging in because i had enough of this. we discovered to our shock, governor romney made $1 million off of selling some of the freddie mac and fannie mae stocks. he has an investment in goldman sachs which is today foreclosing
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on floridaens. maybe his fear of openness should tell us how much money he's made off of households that have been foreclosed. >> my investments are not made by me. my investments for the last ten years have been a baseline trust, managed by a trustee. secondly, the investments that they made we've learned about this as we made our financial disclosure should be in mutual funds or bonds. there are bonds the investor has held threw mutual funds. i know that sounds like an enormous revelation. have you checked your own investments? you also have investments in mutual funds that also invest in fannie mae and freddie mac. >> rick santorum tried to pull some of the attention away from gingrich and romney. he a standout moment, many of them had a really good night. at one point calling for the conversation to shift back to substance. >> the bigger issue here is,
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these two gentlemen who are out distracting from the most important issues we have by playing petty personal politics, can we set aside that newt was a member of congress and used the skills that he developed as a member of congress to go out and advise companies and that's not the worst thing in the world. and that mitt romney is a wealthy guy because he worked hard and he's going out and working hard and if you leave that alone and focus on the issues. >> santorum had a takedown of mitt romney's romney care plan up in the state of massachusetts that many are viewing this morning as very effective and problematic. we'll talk about that in just a moment. newt gingrich, though, despite santorum's request continued the attacks, taking issue with a question about romney's renal financial disclosures. >> are you satisfied right now with the level of transparency as far as his personal finances? >> this is a nonsense question.
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look, i know -- how about we'll actually talk about issues relating to america. >> you made an issue of this this week when you said that he lives in a world of swiss bank and cayman island bank accounts. i didn't say that. you did. >> i did. i'm perfectly happy to say that on an interview on some tv show. this is a national debate where you have a chance to get the four of us to talk about the issues. >> if you make a serious accusation against governor romney, you need to explain that. >> you want to try again? >> wouldn't it be nice if people didn't make accusations somewhere else that they weren't willing to defend here. >> okay. all right. okay. given that standard, mitt, i did say, i thought it was unusual and i don't know of any american president who's had a swiss bank account. i'd be glad for you to explain that sort of thing. >> okay. i will. i will. i'll say it again. i have a trustee that manages my investments in a blind trust.
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that was so that i would avoid any conflicts of interest. that trustee indicated last week when asked about this, he wanted to diversify the investments that i had and for a while he had money in a swiss account, reported in the u.s., full taxes paid on it, u.s. taxes. there's nothing wrong with that. i'm proud of the taxes i pay. my taxes plus my charitable contributions this year, 2011 will be about 40%. so look, let's put behind this idea of attacking me because of my investments or money and let's get republicans to say you know what, what you've accomplished in your life shouldn't be seen as a detriment, it should be seen as an asset to help america. >> all right. joining us now by phone, msnbc/"time" magazine senior political analyst mark halperin. a lot to get to and we haven't even mentioned lunar colonization yet. >> i move like sajack.
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>> i think he would have been facing a rough road through tuesday but he had a great debate. best of all, he was able to discombobulate gingrich. his campaign over the last few days has besieged gingrich in the news media, conference calls, sending people to gingrich's events to kind of heckle him, former members of congress, members of congress, romney took the environment in which gingrich found himself already a little bit on edge and angry. he just got under his skin and frustrated him. and gave a great performance both on offense and defense. >> he was really strong last night and aggressive deciding not to play anymore four corners, i guess. can mitt romney make hay out of those nbc news/"wall street journal" poll numbers we showed where the race is tight nationally, tight in florida but if you show head-to-head matchups, president obama beats newt gingrich by 18%. can romney go back to this electability argument? >> there's a double whammy
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there. one is the electability argument from the polls. where a lot of republicans who want to win behavior all else will look at that and say if we nominate gingrich he doesn't have as good a chance to beat the president. the other thing, gingrich is running on his debate performances. now that he's had a lackluster performance in the first florida debate and a whooping in the second florida debate, again, it's hard for him to go to voters and say, i'm the only one who knows how to get on a debate stage and do my thing. >> bigger picture, rick santorum, we didn't get a chance to say all of it had a long takedown of mitt romney's romney care plan, drawn out, where the argument mademy romney sounded a lot like obama's argument for health care plan. >> it certainly does. a lot of the things that are in play right now, health care, romney's personal finances will be an issue in the general election if he's the nominee. ironically, santorum's attacks on romney may be good for
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romney. if santorum can get above 10%, maybe closer to 20%, that would make it difficult for gingrich to have a chance to win the primary. santorum is strong, although he wasn't strong at the beginning. it's always unclear how voters in the news media and in florida will cover a debate like this. there are good moments for santorum. i'm not sure they came early enough or often enough to have a huge difference in how this works out. >> all right. again, mark gives romney an "a," newt gingrich a "c" minus. you're in the i-4 corridor, somewhere on the space coast, perhaps. >>ing like jagger. sorry, like sajak. >> beginning monday, "way too early" will be live at jerry's famous deli in south beach,
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miami, for special coverage of the florida primary. we invite you to come down, 5:30 in the morning. we'll be through 5:30 through 9:00, jerry's restaurant and deli on collins beach. some other news, the pentagon is facing push back for members of congress after unveiling a plan to shrink the military budget for the first time since 1998. the defense department will ask for $525 billion in operating costs for the year 2013. that's a 1% drop from the current year. the army will be reduced by 80,000 active duty soldiers over the next five years, bringing the number of troops to just under 500,000. the marine corps will be thinned to 182,000. still, both branches will have a larger number of ground forces than they did before september 11th, 2001. 14 navy warships will be retired or built at a slower pace than first projected and the air force will eliminate some of its older fighter jets.
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the administration also will push to close military bases hear at home and limit pay raises for troops, although both parties agree to a bill last summer that would find billions of dollars in defense savings, senior members of congress are criticizing the new proposal, saying the cuts go much deeper than congress had anticipated. still ahead here on "way too early," penn state football coach joe paterno is laid to rest following a jam packed memorial service where nike ceo phil knight gave a rousing defense of paterno's conduct in the sandusky affair. you'll hear from knight ahead in sports. ron paul was the master of the one-liner in last night's debate. a roundup of his act and a check on weather when "way too early" comes right back. ette great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is
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it is 5:48 as we look at the washington monument. let's get a check of the weather from bill karins. >> first thing i have to clarify, on monday and tuesday of next week you're leaving me behind. >> indeed we are. >> i'm going to conjure up whatever bad weather i can. it looks 75 and windy, not too bad. >> we'll take it. >> let's bring you up to date on the rest the forecast. warm air on the eastern seaboard, leave your heavy jacket at home. you do need the umbrella and probably the rain boots. new england up in maine and even there it will change over to
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rain during the day. speaking of florida, heavy rain from tampa right now, thunderstorms about to go through the naples area, daytona beach to orlando, light rain. that rain will sweep through south florida later on today. so the forecast today, it's an umbrella day for many areas on the east coast. it can be 61 degrees today in new york city. this is usually the peak of winter. mild around the rest of the country, cooler air with light snow up in the northern plains. there's no weather highlights. everything looks calm and tranquil. >> great. >> no real big story. >> 61 in new york. it's almost like the climate is changing. >> there's rumors about something like that going on. >> bill, thanks so much. coach joe paterno was laid to rest yesterday after tens of thousands of penn state fans gathered and lined the streets to celebrate his life. but the debate over his legacy does continue. 12,000 people packed the penn state basketball arena to pay final respects to the iconic coach who died on sunday of lung cancer at the age of 85.
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speaker at the ceremony included former players from each decade of paterno's nearly half century career as head coach. it was his long-time friend, nike founder phil knight who made the news on thursday. knight brought the crowd to its feet by offering a strong defense of paterno's handling of child sex abuse scandal that rocked that university. >> he gave full disclosure to his superiors, information that went up to the chain to the head of the campus police and the president of the school. the matter was in the hands of a world-class university. whatever the details of the investigation are, this much is clear to me. that there's a villain in this tragedy, it lies in that investigation, not in joe paterno's response to it. >> again, that is nike ceo phil knight defending joe paterno at the service yesterday. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," mitt romney and newt gingrich kind of switched roles last night, romney putting newt on the defensive in the final debate
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before the voting in florida on tuesday. we'll hit the highlights with our "morning joe" crew. when we come back here, we'll huddle around the water cooler for one of the greatest revelations in game show history, sajak, yes, has done the show drunk a few times. what about vanna? we'll investigate when "way too early" comes right back. [ jennifer garner ] there's a lot of beautiful makeup out there. but one is so clever that your skin looks better even after you take it off. neutrogena® healthy skin liquid makeup. 98% saw improved skin. does your makeup do that? neutrogena® cosmetics. so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond.
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it was the late great tim
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russert who said during the 2000 presidential election, the race is all about florida, florida, florida. the state is, of course, a key prize in the general election an a big stop in the nomination process. if you want to sound smart today, tell your friends florida's 29 electoral votes represent more than one-tenth needed to be elected president. ron paul brings levity to the proceedings in jacksonville. he scored one joke after another after he waited patiently for gingrich and romney to finish their squirmishes. >> it seems they both acknowledge, they both made money from fannie and freddie. should they return that money? >> that subject really doesn't interest me a whole lot. >> congressman paul, who's right? >> i think they're all wrong. >> texas, a space program very important there as well.
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where do you stand on this? >> well, i don't think we should go to the moon. i think we maybe should send some politicians up there. >> are you prepared to release your medical records so voters out there know what your health is? >> obviously, because it's about one page, if even that long. i'm willing to -- i'm willing to challenge any of these gentlemen up here to a 25-mile bike ride anytime of the day in the heat of texas. as you know, there are laws against age discrimination. if you push this too much, you better be careful. >> imagine you're in the oval office, you speak to raul castro. what would you say to him? >> well, i'd ask him what he called about, you know? >> ron paul was on fire last night. you heard ron paul talk about those moon bases, newt gingrich out on the trail a couple days ago, talked about getting a colony on the moon for 13,000
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americans. mitt romney responded this way. >> i do not want to be the country having gotten to the moon first, turned around and said it doesn't really matter, let the chinese dominate space, what do we care? i think that is a path of national decline and i am for america being a great country, not a country in decline. >> we're going to move on. go ahead, governor romney. >> i spent 25 years in business. if i had a business executive come to me and say they want to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon i'd say, you're fired. >> there you go. we waited until 5:56 to bring you our lead story. in an interview with dan lebatard on espn2, pat sajak made a stunning and wonderful admission. >> have you ever done "wheel of fortune" a little bit drunk? >> yes. when i first started and was
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much longer and could tolerate those things, we had endless time between shows, our breaks would be 2 1/2 hours long when they drove in new cars, boats and stuff. they had a place across the street, they serve great margaritas. vanna and i would go across and have two or three or six and come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet. >> the answer to the question is, yes, vanna, a little drunk too when she was turning the letters back in the days in the 1980s. still ahead on "way too early," your texts and e-mails are next. uh, i'm in a timeout because apparently riding the dog like it's a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment! luckily though, ya know, i conceal this bad boy underneath my blanket just so i can get on e-trade. check my investment portfolio, research stocks... wait, why are you taking... oh, i see...solitary. just a man and his thoughts.
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